Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,494 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,494
Hads: 11,145
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,200 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (24) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,494 | Hads: 11,145
Photo of williamsgodfrey
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Old Rasputin came out of the bottle a dark brown, nearly black, color. There was a half a finger’s worth of head, roughly the color of overly creamed coffee. The head stayed around briefly but fizzled off shortly, becoming a thin ring at the edges of the glass with an island or two of small bubbles floating around on the top of the beer. I think (I know) that I had the beer too cold when I poured it and I think that is why the head was so small. Russian Imperials should best be poured and consumed in the 50-55° F range. When I’ve enjoyed Old Rasputin in the past, at a more reasonable temperature, I remember a much more robust head that stuck around more. As I began to drink I noticed that the beer actually appeared almost red at the edges. When beer spread out on the way out of the glass with each sip I noticed a deep red or crimson to it, quite nice.

Aroma:
I got a big, dark, roasty, bready aroma out of my glass. Perhaps a bit of hop spiciness on the back-end. As it warmed up a bit I began to notice a lot of tobacco flavors, really near to that earthy sweetness of freshly dried and cut tobacco leaves.

Taste:
This beer truly tastes wonderful. I get a lot of hop up front, not quite as sharp as a big IPA, followed by dark, roasted malt, a little boozy heat, something akin to sugar just as it starts to caramelize/burn, and finally a finish of alcohol soak chocolate covered raisins.

Mouthfeel:
The mouthfeel felt pretty spot on for a Russian Imperial, it was smooth with a faint carbonation tickle with a slight amount of body.

Overall:
It’s a classic and it's awesome. One of the best Russian Imperials out there, and maybe one of the first to receive widespread acclaim and distribution in the North American beer market. (1,765 characters)

Photo of dogboy
2.71/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thought I'd try this highly rated brew and was dissapointed. Pours good and looks ok in the glass. Smell was too much coffee on the nose and the first sip confirmed the smell. Overpowering burnt coffee taste for me. Also the beer was too thick and as I find with American stouts, too fizzy. It's ok enough and I'd like to try it on tap (or aged), but why the A? (361 characters)

Photo of biercircus
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty stinking good RIP. The high alcohol balances well with the complex dark chocolate and coffee flavor. My wife made me let her sip while eating dark chocolate. I tried some too, and it really complemented it well.

A- I saw it poured into a cup, but it was dark outside, and I just had a bottle.

S- sweet, chocolaty coffee smell, molasses, liquorice, hops

T- complex malty chocolate coffee, alcohol peeking through

M- heavy, creamy, bubbly. Takes a while to drink because it's so heavy. Some carbonation.

D- Very good sipper. Shouldn't drink fast. Very well-balanced flavors. Awesome beer. (610 characters)

Photo of aayooper
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle - poured with a nice thick, brown head which disipated over 10 minutes as it warmed from its over refridgerated temperature. This RIS had a big, full mouth feel and flavor. Specifically, what really stood out to me as I sipped it after a big steak was a really nice burnt malt flavor followed by a smooth dark chocolate linger. Unlike some in this class, there was really no strong sense of alcohol for its high ABV. While drinking several in an evening may not be in order, one or two will really work well after a steak or on a cold winter evening. (557 characters)

Photo of headhopper
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours out very dark with tinge of tea color brown/amber around the corners when held up to the light. It has a creamy frothy tan head that sticks around for a while.

It smells very good...Not as strong as some stouts, but very pleasant. Not as rough as most RIS. It has a nice crusty bread smell with roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

Now when I take the first sip...every time it makes me go " Ahh thats a good beer." It kind of reminds me of Breakfast stout. Only because of the very obvious and sharp coffee smell and coffee bitterness in the taste. It also reminds me of the taste of Founders Black Rye. It has a balanced blend of coffee, chocolate, bread, roasted nuts...its very good.

For the price and availability this is a great stout. (765 characters)

Photo of kevinhulit
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black liquid with creamy tan head. rich aroma character (cofee/malt). a bit of a ting on the palate but tasty... rich finish. this beer opened my palate to stouts beyond the sam adams/guiness portion of the varitey. there is so much more to stout! a must try. (259 characters)

Photo of nwshull
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It is a deep blackish-brown with a head darker than most beers body. The head settled thick about 1/2 inch high.

Smell: It smells like a strong dark chocolate

Taste: It has an initial taste of bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee followed by aftertaste of half way between hops and the previous described flavors. High Alcohol is well masked

Mouthfeel: It is a thick mouthfeel to start with carbonation moderate, it ends rather velvety.

Drinkability: It is a pleasure to drink but I generally only want to drink one a night.

Overall this is my favorite Imperial Stout. (624 characters)

Photo of lukymann
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Quite a pleasure to have this brew on nitro-tap... grabbed it at Deep Ellum in Allston.

A - After the beer settles out it is dark and largely opaque with a great creamy khaki colored, inch-thick head. Looked like a great dessert beer if ever I've seen one.

S - Earthy smell with overtones of chocolate. Roasted malts are unsurprisingly prevalent.

T - Excellent. Strong Espresso and chocolate flavors at the front that settle into a burnt malt residue on your tongue. A good representation of the style.

F - Two words: Creamy goodness. The smoothness of this beer on nitro is hard to describe (and it is well matched to the beer's flavor). As good as this beer is from the bottle, this presentation went well beyond surpassing my expectations.

D - The 9% ABV is not all that apparent as you're drinking. As tempting as it was to have more than one, this is not really a session beer and I moved on to something slightly less robust. (936 characters)

Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the classic American Stouts available.

Aroma: Figs, prunes, dark malt, coffee, roasted grains

Appearance: Black with tan head that laced nicely.

Flavor: Big dark malt flavor with hints of fig, prune, cherry, and roast.

Mouthfeel: The big malt gives a rich mouthfeel that finishes sweet.

Overall: A great beer to have on a cold winter night. Fantastic. (364 characters)

Photo of GeoffM
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pretty standard stout coloring and head; beautiful opaque, inky black, impossible to see through, head is tan and rocky, moderately sized. Head diminishes a little faster than I'd like or would have expected, but the lacing is good.

Smell - Malty. Very very malty. Chocolate, coffee, something remotely chalky (for lack of a better word) but not unpleasantly so.

Taste - Wow. Seductively smooth. Moderately bitter with an excellent, and I mean excellent, finish. This is such a pleasant beer, wonderful mouthfeel. I sip it because I want to savor it, not because it's too bitter; in other words, quite drinkable. Malts are apparent, to say the least. Just awesome.

Overall - The only other Imperial Stout I've had was Yeti's Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company (another favorite around here, apparently), and this one is so much more approachable and drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well, and it sneaks up on you, so be careful. Awesoime brew. (974 characters)

Photo of jfdean
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts. (900 characters)

Photo of shir0043
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great RIS. Smell is roasted grains, biscuit, coffee, and hops in the background.

Flavor is much like the smell (only much stronger) with the roasted grains, biscuit flavors, and strong dark chocolate. The bitterness of this beer almost perfectly balances the malt.
One thing that sets this RIS apart from the rest is that it's much dryer than others that I have tried in the past. Don't get me wrong, I love a big malty RIS but this is really a nice change for the style. Also, the 9%+ ABV is very well hidden which makes this a very drinkable beer.

The mouthfeel for this beer is on the medium side most likely due to the dryness of the beer.

One final note, I love it when big beers come in 12oz bottles instead of exclusively coming in bombers. It makes it much easiest to enjoy a beer when I at home without my beer drinking buddies. Plus it almost always a better value. I'll be buying this beer again. (922 characters)

Photo of kifn2
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - some brownish tints on the edges but opaque in the middle. It has a surprisingly large tan head that sustains well. This is not common in the style, but not unpleasant at all. The labelling is beautiful in my humble opinion.

s - it smells just as an RIS should. Toasty with hints of dark fruits. The scents volatize quickly.

t - Most RIS's lack a nutty quality. This beer is exceptional in that it captures it. The roasted flavor is wonderful with all of the requisite coffee and chocolate flavors. Another exceptional quality is that they've managed to eliminate any burnt flavor and still keep all of the good dark malt character. There is some slight bitterness from the roasted malt, but it is there as a complement to the overall taste. It's not a "bad" bitterness, for what it's worth.

m - tongue coating and full bodied. Mild carbonation, yet it's not "sticky"

d - appropriate for style.

Overall, an exceptional beer and an outstanding example of the style. Technically, this beer is brewed with the utmost tender loving care. (1,042 characters)

Photo of huguey
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Rare Vos glass.

Small, quickly dissapating head.

A: Black Black Black. It's a stout.

S: Call me crazy, but I smell pepperoni. Slight oilyness, saltyness, alcohol. None of this in a bad way.

T: Malt leads to smoke leads to hops. Bitterness charcteristically hoppy

M: No lingering oil, makes the bitter mouthfeel at the back of the drink go away soon.

D: Good beer, not exceptional. I had one and it certainly didn't stand on it's own. (464 characters)

Photo of SluggerOToole
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice after dinner. Ordered this with a cheese plate for dessert. The brew pours pitch black with a thin chocolate milk-colored head. The nose is subdued with caramel malt, cocoa, and faint hops.

The aromas carry straight through to the palate with strong roasty flavors like sweet coffee and dark chocolate flavors, there is a caramel and toffee sweetness up front also with resounding hop finish. Mouthfeel is heavy, full, silky, and lingering. (462 characters)

Photo of MuddyMcGinny
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle angry pour to a English nonic.

Motor oil Black Sabbath black with a HUGE 2+ finger head that almost flowed over, didn't mean to pour too hard - oops!, but a firm hearty insane mocha colored froth with a hint of commie reddish ruby overtone... ha!... comes back strong on a good swirl o' the glass when halfway thru with really good lacing as well.

Nose of bitter coffee and sweetness of malt. Medium-firm body with robust flavors throughout... a little smoke and fire, obvious coffee bitter, malts and dark fruit earthiness. Alcohol hidden very well. A good bite on the tongue at first sip but mellows to malty awesomeness as the pint dwindles.

Had a bottle at Downtown Bar & Grill Brooklyn for the first time in a while and just had to pick up a four pack today. One of my all time favorites. Would give 5's across the board but only the beer gods can create a perfect beer! Well done. (905 characters)

Photo of CanonJohn
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Wow. Black as night with a thin, dark caramel, half finger head that dissipated quickly leaving almost no lace to speak of. I tried to shine a 9 led super bright flash light through it and saw nothing. How awesome is that?

S: The smell is of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and dark bitter chocolate, with a punch of alcohol. In a word, fantastic!

T: Explosive roasted coffee, and dark fruits on the start, leading almost immediately into dark bitter chocolate. Followed by a nice hoppy bitterness and warm alcohol. The alcohol is accompanied by the taste of burbon and then coffe on the finish. I was then left with a lingering bitter chocolate and coffe after that is just wonderful. There are hints of spicy flavors throughout. I picked up some clove, star anise, and an almost hot black peper somewhere in the middle, that lingered just under the coffe after. There really is far too much here for a novice like me.

M: Nice and heavy. Coats the mouth well, and gives a lovely warming sensation.

D: Highly drinkable, in small quantities. This may be the best beer I have yet to put in my mouth, but I will struggle to finish 12oz. It is no session beer; at 9% ABV, but it is a very very special drink. I just really love this beer! (1,261 characters)

Photo of moosemoose
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a pint glass in my house.

A: Very dark. A beautiful tan head about one finger thick.

S: Very malty. Smell of burnt chocolate and coffee with hints of caramel.

T: Bitter dark chocolate. Great taste, but has a very strong aftertaste that isn't much to my liking. This isn't a beer to pound or to drink more than two or three.

M: Just heavy enough. A bit creamy, coats your mouth. Leaves too much bitterness.

O: Very good beer. If you love imperial stouts, they don't get much better. (507 characters)

Photo of Nostradrunkus
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The quintessential beginners stout, Old Rasputin manages to be an incredibly complex and refreshing drink while simultaneously disguising its high alcohol content.

This one pours a distinct blackness that reassures you that you are drinking a legitimate stout. There is a faint tan head that thins to a lacing on top of the beer within a short amount of time after the pour.

The aroma is complex, but is best categorized by a chocolatey espresso smell that serves as a great prelude to the flavor.

Taste is fantastic. I often find myself recommending this to those that think of guinness first when they hear the word stout. Upon drinking, you're immediately confronted with the chocolate and espresso flavors that dominate the aroma of this stout. This fades into a complex mix of flavor with a faint underlying soy sauce taste to round out the many other flavors at play. Alcohol is barely noticeable, but it contributes a subtle herbal heat that amplifies the other flavors.

I really believe this beer is one of the best hybrids of availability, cost, and flavor in the stout class. It tends to be easy to find, and it is also usually one of the cheaper options among the legitimate stouts. I often find myself reaching for a pack of Old Rasputin to pair with traditional meat and potatoes type meals, and I will continue to do so as long as they keep brewing this excellent Russian Imperial Stout. (1,406 characters)

Photo of Ninjaworm
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Blood black with a large creamy head that finally subsided leaving a 1/16” head with amazing lacing.

Smell: Faintly sweet vanilla blends into a linear alcohol nose.

Taste: Silky vanilla alcohol flavor with hints of oak.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Smooth alcohol flavor that melds into a vanilla profile making one dream for another. (374 characters)

Photo of mcfisty
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance=Opaque, full beige head at first simmering down to a very thin ring.

Aroma= Blasts out cocoa, coffee, well roasted malts, very pleasant and soothing. No alcohols showing themselves yet. Some hops just letting you know their there.

Flavor= coffee and rich roasted malts at first with the dark bittersweet chocolate flavor coming in behind. A faint hint of raisins in the finish. More and more coming out as it warms.

Mouthfeel = A bit thin and prickly in my opinion. Not as viscous as I like my big boys to be.

Drinkability= First one going down really smooth, alcohol already warming half way through...Ill let you know later tonight ;) (651 characters)

Photo of ragekage23
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- deep brown with a nice light brown fluffy head

s- toasted malts, coffee

t/m- very unexpectedly bitter, light hops, plum is apparent, fueled by the toasted malts and strong coffee, paired with a not-too-strong carbonation

d- great example of what makes a RIS so tasty (278 characters)

Photo of CMiller683
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at the store without realizing what I had. Bought it as part of a build-a-six-pack. No freshness date listed. Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard glass. Creepy looking bottle with a shot of Rasputin on the front, circled by some Russian wording. Gold colored detail.

A - Pours a very thick, smooth, motor-oil black. Follows with a thick, creamy espresso head with a lace that crawls down the glass. Completely opaque and a threatening looking beer.

S - A deep, roasty, burnt maltiness that smacks you in the face. Scents of espresso and a little bit of chocolate and nuts. Tends to fade a bit as you drink it

T - A very intense flavor. Carries a burnt/smoked maltiness to it. Brings a bite of alcohol that is almost too much to make a good balance. Has a level of bitterness that really makes this beer. Without it, I don't think it would be nearly as good.

M - An almost foamy feel to it. Very thick and heavy. A good balance of carbonation and an explosion of flavor in the back of your mouth that is simply great. Leaves a chocolately mocha aftertaste with a sweet finish, but tends to be a little thick and sticky. The alcohol brings out the nutty/espresso flavors.

D - An outstanding Imperial Stout, and definitely not an all day beer. Something to kick back and relax on a special occasion, like thanksgiving or christmas! A great beer for those that love chocolate/espresso and don't mind a beer that bites back. (1,447 characters)

Photo of Llewellyn9
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm an old hat when it comes to imperial stouts, and this is a trusty stand by.

poors beautifully, impenetrably dark brown, nearly black with hits of red. head is a pillow of tan goodness. nice lace, but not as much as i would like.

the smell is a testament to the power of malt. Dark, roasted and beguiling, with a hint of hops; coffee and chocolate to boot.

see smell above, and add the fact that that i'm weeping as i type this...

like carbonated molasses, and i mean that in the in the best possible way.

here we reach a dilemma, do i love imperial stouts, F*CK YES!!! could i drink them all night?? probably not, even if they are god... uh, i mean, good.

epilogue: i made a black and tan with this and pliny the elder. needless to say, i've put in an order for a new set of taste buds... (800 characters)

Photo of realbama
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This and "Celebrator" are the two finest beers known to man. Rasputin is pitch black. You would think you're about to down pure oil if the smell didn't hit your nose just before the liquid gold hits your mouth. It smells of smokey chocolate, hops and alcohol. This beer tastes very creamy, very complex. If my kid is ever diagnosed with a terminal disease and we get to go somewhere via the "make a wish" foundation, I'm gonna demand to see what the heck they're doing at Lost Coast with this brew. ....not really, of course. I'll let my kid go to Disney World or something. But I'll always wonder. (598 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,494 ratings.